I am now in my final week of conscription at Barnardos. And I know I’ll be sorely missed when I’m gone. That’s not just me thinking too highly of myself – somehow my a4e supervisor got the idea I wanted to work an extra month or more there, and showed up with a fully prepared extension form requiring nothing but my signature. I never agreed to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly do it if the alternative was returning to days of boredom and weeks of signing on, but I’ve actually got plans. Visiting relatives, followed by moving to Aberystwyth, soon followed by becoming a student again. At most I could stay an extra week, but apparently sorting out paperwork + increased jobseeker’s allowance for such a short amount of time is too much hassle. Plus I’ve got this huge anime backlog, and haven’t had a full week dedicated to anime for a long time now… But yeah, Barnardos has been fun. It’s increased my confidence, I know how to use a till (plus a few other random skills that I may never need again), and lastly it just gives me a reference and experience for my CV.
Now, some random stuff that I thought I’d mention in a post about Barnardos:
Weirdest things donated – A half empty tube of sour cream and onion Pringles, and a board game using chocolates as playing pieces and a best before end date of Jan 2000. Oh, and the sugar cubes were quite odd as well.
Most annoying things donated – Broken objects, filthy camping gear clearly dumped there after a weekend at some music festival or other, used underwear etc. Barnardos isn’t a rubbish dump, and wash stuff first please!
Weirdest request – “Do you have any tea towels?”
*brings down entire stock, mostly plain or striped/checkered*
“Oh, no, these won’t do. I was looking for one with a penguin on it”.
*struggles to keep a straight face*
Most annoying request – “May I look at that carpet? How big is it?”
*unwraps huge carpet, measures all sides, makes mess, leaves people waiting to be served*
“How much is it?”
*points to blatantly obvious price tag on outside*
“Oh, I can’t afford it”.
Most annoying customer habits – Putting coat hangers back on the rail the wrong way around. Or even worse, not bothering to re-hang clothes at all once finished looking at them/trying them on.
Making a mess of the bookshelves. How difficult is it to put them back in a free space, preferably where you found them?
Regular customers who always try to get reductions on perfectly fine items (it’s for charity FFS).
People who try to buy more than they are actually carrying with them (I know a lot of them are old, but WTF).
People who expect me to fold the clothes for them (not that they have any way of knowing I have dyspraxia and struggle with such a seemingly easy task, but it’s not like I don’t have enough to do working the till, removing coat hangers and passing them bags. All they’ve got to do is stand there and pass me money!)
My impact on Barnardos – I changed a few things on the shop front occasionally when bored. Moved things about a bit. Naughty, I know, but it can get very boring behind a till with no customers. Occasionally, this seemed to result in sales of the things I decided to focus on, though that may just be a coincidence. And there are plenty of examples of items I thought would sell and gave pride of place on a shelf, which are still there gathering dust now. The one change I made that I thought was the blatantly obvious thing to do, and that other staff members seemed to continue with while I wasn’t there, was sorting the VHS tapes so that 12-18 rated videos were on a high shelf, and Uc – PG videos were on a lower shelf. Also put sequels and related movies next to each other, in hopes that people would buy them together. I’d hoped they’d continue with these things, but arrived this morning after a short holiday to find the videos in a giant mess again. Nevermind…